Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sew cute!

Well, the first boxes are packed for the move!

Hurray! I dove in this morning and got four boxes packed from (sniff sniff) the craft room of course.

The last room in the house to be unpacked when we moved here... and now back into cardboard she goes....

As if I will have time for crafting in the next 8 weeks...and it's Christmas no less...(okay, now I feel the tears coming.)

But I can't do NOTHING, so here's a little pillowcase dress I pulled together a couple of weeks ago.
I know you've probably seen these before and there are tons of really good tutorials out there, so mine will probably be weak at best... but lets see if I can't put a smile on your face while we're at it....

My Version of a Pillowcase Dress:

Get rad pillowcases from your granny's stash or from the Sally Ann for .10 a pop.... oooooh ya!

Lay the pillowcase flat and measure your child from the top of her shoulder to how long you want the dress to be. I failed to do this, so I ended up with a pretty funky fit...
The bottom of the pillowcase (the hemmed side) is going to be the bottom of the dress, so all the cutting you are going to do is at the opposite end of the pillowcase.

Once you have measured how long you want your dress to be, make a straight line across the dress and cut it, leaving a 2 inch allowance to create a casing. (this is where the elastic is going to go and make a pretty gathered neckline)

Once you've made the first cut, then you need to make sleeves. I didn't do this so well, but the general idea is to make arm holes by making a "J"  shaped cut on either side of the cut you just made. I used a bowl to make a curved cut, and to make sure they were identical (good idea) but I made mine waaaaaaaay too big so that the dress actually fits like a gaping tunic (bad idea), but fits me like a shirt (sort of good idea if you can rock a pillowcase which.... the jury is still out on whether or not I can)
 Now that you have made three cuts in your pillowcase, you want to make that neck casing I mentioned earlier. You will do this by flipping the pillow case inside out an folding down the neck pieces by 1/2 an inch. Iron it.  Then fold it one more time over an inch and iron it again.
You will stitch the larger fold all the way through (the first 1/2 inch fold makes the fabric clean edged and tucked into the casing seam). You should end up with pretty little tunnels on the neck (front and back) of your dress.

Now you will want to measure and cut 6 inches of elastic. (if you are making a shirt for yourself, measure across your chest (above the bust from arm pit to armpit) and cut an elastic that is 1 inch less than that measurement)
 Get yourself a super helpful baby assistant that wakes up too early from their nap. Enlist them in tearing apart your sewing box, trying to eat buttons and dangerously wielding a seam ripper. Stay calm. This is by far the most challenging step of the making of a pillowcase dress.
Now, for those sleeves. If bias tape doesn't make you crazy in the head (it makes me crazy in the head), hem the arm holes with a length of bias tape leaving enough extra tape at either end of the arm hole so that you have ties to tie up and adjust the dress for wearing. Be careful sewing on the bias tape. The most sure way to do it properly is to fold and iron the material you are hemming Then use straight pins to attach the tape to your material, then stitch the bias tape to your hemmed edge, pulling out the pins as you go. making sure that you are securing the material and both sides of the tape with your stitches ( crazy in the head yet?). I am sure some of you will know a better way to do this, and I am open to the suggestions... I don't particularly like being crazy in the head.....
Once those pesky little ties have been put on... guess what? You're done! You can add little embellishments to your dress and start rocking it around the neighborhood ( or let your kid rock it to the park or whatever). You will be pleased that you sewed something in an hour and you will love that it cost .10 or less. Whatever you do, make sure to put it on a wooden hanger though... so cute.

sew sew cute. :)


  1. So funny Ashley! I've been meaning to whip one of these up too, but hadn't thought strategy yet, so I thank you! I'll use your tutorial and let you know how it went!! Oh, and where are you moving- Leduc did you say?

  2. I want to make one of those for Kilmeny when she's older, I hadn't thought of doing one for myself. That would be really cute over jeans...=) And I loved reading your tutorial. Ah, the reality of life. ;-)



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